A Comment by Ravi Zacharias on the Slaughter of Various Peoples


On August 8, 2019, Ravi Zacharias, founder of RZIM ministries, tweeted the following observations in response to those who claim that religion is somehow more responsible for the slaughter of people than the non-religious. Since I have recently posted comments to the speech of Archbishop Chaput who raised this same issue, I thought that his comments add to what Archibishop Chaput had been saying. Pastor Zacharias writes:
I sometimes hear critics say, "Religion has slaughtered its thousands." Such an overgeneralization reveals a bankruptcy both in one’s knowledge of history and philosophy. Are they forgetting the two atheistic regimes of Russia and China?

The difference between the killing in the Crusades and the slaughter by atheists is that those who kill in the name of God are violating his character. Those who kill in the name of man are being consistent with secular humanism's bankruptcy in finding absolutes.
Christ did not teach Christians to kill those who disagree with our religious views, and He couldn't have been more clear that we are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. When a person claiming the mantle of Christ kills another in His name, by definition that person has violated the teachings of the very person he claims to be upholding.

But atheism -- especially the type that teaches that all that exists is nature (matter and energy) -- does not and cannot provide an absolute morality. As the Existentialists discovered, the only way that people can find meaning in a universe without God is to create their own meaning. It doesn't matter how one creates that meaning in an atheistic worldview; whether by helping refugees or killing dozens of people. Both are seen as equivalent morally, and the only reason we prefer the first is our religious upbringing.

Pastor Zacharias's point should be explored more carefully by those who reject God because he is right; without God there is no compelling moral reason to favor helping people over killing people.

Comments

your quote: " It doesn't matter how one creates that meaning in an atheistic worldview; whether by helping refugees or killing dozens of people. Both are seen as equivalent morally, and the only reason we prefer the first is our religious upbringing."

That was a good observation 50 years ago when existentialism was still big. As we have seen on a thousand message boards modern atheist don't buy that. They don't think like existentialists.
Anonymous said…
Zachariua: Are they forgetting the two atheistic regimes of Russia and China?

These were regimes under a specific ideology of communism, not atheism. There is a huge difference between the world view of a Russian communist and a western atheist.

Not sure about China, but Russia was very anti-religion because the church had historically supported the Tsars in their oppression of the common people, and the attack on the church was pretty much revenge (Marx also alluded to hand the church had in supporting the ruling elite).

BK: On August 8, 2019, Ravi Zacharias, founder of RZIM ministries, tweeted the following observations in response to those who claim that religion is somehow more responsible for the slaughter of people than the non-religious.

Of course Christians and communists pale into insignicance beside God, and the millions drown in the flood. And then there are the billions he tortures in the afterlife (if you believe in hell). Oh, and the billions he terminates before they are even born if you think a human being starts at conception.

BK: But atheism -- especially the type that teaches that all that exists is nature (matter and energy) -- does not and cannot provide an absolute morality.

No it does not. But please do not conclude that atheists therefore have no morality. The most Christian country in the western world is the US; look at how they treat their poor. Look at the horror so many US Christians feel at the thought of providing free healthcare for the needy. Do you really think that that is moral?

Pix
Anonymous said…
Funny how he is now called "Pastor Zacharias". He used to be "Dr. Zacharias" until he got busted for lying his credentials and history. Why should anyone listen to what this compulsive liar has to say about anything???
There are still nihilistic atheists who assume morality is just consturctivist. But the big major position they take now is moral realism. In my book Sort of a atheist's answer to presuppositionalism. Bit there can be Christian moral realists. No problem with your view Bill but I think we should point out the trends so our readers don't go charging into argumentation with the wrong idea.
Anonymous said...
Funny how he is now called "Pastor Zacharias". He used to be "Dr. Zacharias" until he got busted for lying his credentials and history. Why should anyone listen to what this compulsive liar has to say about anything???


I never took his academic pretension seriously. His education is all bible college and I'm not sure he even got a doctorate of any kind but one could get a doctorate in that milieu but it really cheapens the reputation of real theology.

still Jesus never even got to bible college.
Anonymous said…
Joe: I never took his academic pretension seriously.

The point is we know the guy is a liar.

https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2017/12/04/ravi-zacharias-lied-about-his-credentials-and-its-all-your-fault/

This is a discussion about morality. How can we take Christian morality seriously when the guy being quoted in the OP is known to be dishonest?

What does that tell us about Christian morality? It tell us some Christians think it is okay to lie, and it tells us other Christians will look the other way when they do.

Joe: still Jesus never even got to bible college.

He had a lot to say about hypocrisy though.

Pix
This comment has been removed by the author.
"What does that tell us about Christian morality? It tell us some Christians think it is okay to lie, and it tells us other Christians will look the other way when they do."

what does this tell us about atheists and informal fallacies like guilt by association?

btw I didn't quote him
Anonymous said…
The fallacy here is a Christian, BK, citing a known liar, Zacharias, as an authority in a discussion on morality. I am not saying all Christians are tarred by the same brush, I am saying this argument is based on a Christian wilfully ignoring the immorality of a fellow Christian.

I am saying Zacharias is a hypocrite when he criticises the morality of others, and would be better served sorting out the beam in his own eye.

Joe: what does this tell us about atheists and informal fallacies like guilt by association?

And that is exactly what Zacharias is doing when he says "Are they forgetting the two atheistic regimes of Russia and China?". Will you go on record stating that Zacharias committed that fallacy?

Joe: btw I didn't quote him

Never said you did.

Pix
And that is exactly what Zacharias is doing when he says "Are they forgetting the two atheistic regimes of Russia and China?". Will you go on record stating that Zacharias committed that fallacy?

Joe: btw I didn't quote him

Never said you did.

you are right both of you did guilt by association so you are like him. I'm kidding he did do that on all atheists but you are not doing it on all Christians because you did qualify it. good going,
This comment has been removed by the author.
according to the man himself he never called himself doctorate and has asked that people stop calling him that,

https://www.rzim.org/read/rzim-global/rzim-statement-on-ravi-zacharias-biography
Anonymous said…
"according to the man himself he never called himself doctorate and has asked that people stop calling him that"

More lies

"RZ "holds three doctoral degrees." - This claim appears on the jacket of his 2008 book New Birth or Rebirth, as well as in his author bio at Penguin and Random House. At his own official bio he similarly claimed to have multiple doctorates and failed to disclose that they were merely honorary."

http://www.lyingforjesus.org/images/Zacharias-Doctoral-Degrees-lrg.jpg

In describing his "doctorates" at his website bio, the word "honorary" did not appear until October 2016
"according to the man himself he never called himself doctorate and has asked that people stop calling him that"

More lies

"RZ "holds three doctoral degrees." - This claim appears on the jacket of his 2008 book New Birth or Rebirth, as well as in his author bio at Penguin and Random House. At his own official bio he similarly claimed to have multiple doctorates and failed to disclose that they were merely honorary."

sounds like his publiher's claim

http://www.lyingforjesus.org/images/Zacharias-Doctoral-Degrees-lrg.jpg

In describing his "doctorates" at his website bio, the word "honorary" did not appear until October 2016

final analysis he is a telavangelist. so what can we expect?

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